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Slashed Content Boosts Bottom Line for Bottom Dollar Food


By Ken Magill

If only all email-campaign improvements could be so simple.

The email marketing team at Atlanta-based digital agency Engauge recently increased client Bottom Dollar Food’s weekly specials email click-through rate by 31 percent and lowered its unsubscribe rate by 11 percent with one simple move.

What was it? They slashed the content in half.

And not only are the emails performing better, they’re less labor intensive to create.

The messages—which go out every Tuesday night—give subscribers the first look at what’s on sale that week. The original emails included many graphics, offers and links.

“The original emails were very on-brand but there was a lot of visual fluff,” said Jay Jhun, email services director for Engauge. “And there was a lot of extra work in terms of producing it every week. From an energy-conservation standpoint in terms of the content that needs to be coordinated, the amount of time put into the design all the way through the things that needed tagging, we are able to conserve quite a bit of time in terms of content design.”

Also, by trimming the content, Engauge put the two main calls to action above the fold.

“We were able to surface the calls to action much higher up in the email,” he said. “But it’s also the right calls to action above the fold. The old design was a lot fuzzier.”

According to Jhun, campaign analysis revealed that subscribers simply wanted Bottom Dollar Food to deliver on the value proposition that was promised to them when they signed up—first peek at the weekly specials.

“In terms of the links people were clicking on, it was: ‘Let me just click and see what’s on sale at the website or just give me my coupons,’” he said.

“The [lower] unsubscribes were another cool part of that,” Jhun added. “By delivering what we said we were going to deliver, we’re seeing the added benefit of a lower unsubscribe rate.”

Jhun observed—as others have done over the years—that one of the problems with email is it’s so cheap to send. As a result, marketers often overload their messages.

“People will often say: ‘Can we also talk about this? Can we also cross-sell this? It won’t cost that much more, will it? What could it hurt?” Jhun said. “Well, it hurts in terms of the production time you put into it. And, by the way, it’s distracting.”


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